Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria.

E.V. Hill was one of my all-time favorites. He pastored the same church for 40 years and preached for 50. But he didn’t start as a prominent pastor.

He started in the projects of Texas, where most kids dropped out of school in 10th grade and started working for $2 a day.

He used to say (in an accent I still envy), “Jesus will take any person from the guttermost to the uttermost who understands what a privilege it is to trust his love.”

I don’t know if guttermost is a word — but I do know Hill lived what he preached. He graduated from high school and college after starting with $1.83 in his pocket.

Afterwards, God allowed him to pastor in an underprivileged community where people learned to take God at his word, just like Hill had done. The life-change there was so unique that their services were telecast nationally. No doubt, his starting point was not his destination.

But not all stories of set-back end so significantly.

There’s a widow in the Bible who knows that well. Her story shows how trial and injustice can turn to triumph and answered prayer.

The parable tells of a judge who “neither feared God nor cared what people thought.” He was approached by the widow who kept asking that he give her justice. He refused repeatedly but eventually gave in, saying, “Because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice.”

Jesus went on to explain the parable and said, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.”

What can we learn about answered prayer? Answered prayer is a response to injustice.

Scholars agree that the unjust judge represents sin, which plays no favorites. It’s a stubborn foe that exists to keep all of us from the life God has for us.

When we encounter repeated resistance, it’s tempting to settle into discouragement and let other things take the place of those God-given desires. But temporary solutions often lead to more grief than good. It’s only when we respond like the widow and seek help amidst injustice that we begin to see wrong turn to reward.

And you know what’s cool? We’re not the only ones crying out about the wrongs holding us back.

Romans 8 assures us that Jesus “who lives to intercede for us” is crying out to God for us, too.

Answered prayer is a result of our intercessor.

God’s way of handling injustice is often different from ours.

It requires us to keep trusting him even when answers seem slow — even when nothing seems to be changing. But if we’ll keep our situation in God’s hands, he can bring about the long-term good that our heart’s crave.

God knows how to right the wrongs in our life. We can trust him to fight for us and to fulfill what our hearts long for.

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Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. Visit myffc.com.

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